Minturn open house seeks public comment on proposed Avon to Gilman power line | VailDaily.com
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Minturn open house seeks public comment on proposed Avon to Gilman power line

The transmission pole on left in this illustration is representative of the poles that could come through or near Minturn under an existing proposal from Holy Cross Energy.

The U.S. Forest Service is hosting a public open house to discuss the proposed Holy Cross Energy Avon-to-Gilman 115kV transmission line project. 

The informational meeting will be held at the Holy Cross Ranger Station at 24747 U.S. Highway 24 in Minturn, on Thursday, March 12, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Forest Service and Holy Cross Energy staff will be present to answer questions about the project.

The meeting is aimed at providing information and soliciting comments on Holy Cross Energy’s application to the Forest Service for a special use authorization to construct, operate, and maintain a 115-kV electric transmission line that would provide circuit connectivity between the Avon and Gilman substations. 

The entire proposed line is 8.9 miles in length, however, the route would cross approximately three miles of National Forest System land. The proposed action includes the construction of new power structures; right-of-way clearing and hazard tree removal; conductor stringing and splicing work; staging and access via vehicle, ATV, and helicopter; and minor maintenance and patrolling.

About three miles of the transmission line is anticipated to be buried underground, and the remainder of the line would be hung on overhead transmission structures. If approved, construction would take approximately eight months and occur during late spring through fall when weather conditions are favorable. The special use authorization would also authorize the use of existing and new access roads for the associated construction and future maintenance activities.

Public input will help the White River National Forest in preparing an Environmental Assessment for the project. The assessment will include an analysis of the potential effects of issuing a special use authorization to construct and operate the transmission line on national forest lands.

“The meeting will be an opportunity for interested members of the public to understand the proposal, our analysis process, and some general timelines,” acting Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Adam Bianchi said. “We are looking forward to answering questions and gathering feedback.”

Project information can be found on the White River National Forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57224

To subscribe to project updates, including receiving emails regarding upcoming opportunities to comment, go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAFS/subscriber/new?topic_id=NEPA_57224_S.

Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of the legal notice in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Matt Klein, Realty Specialist, White River National Forest, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, 81645; fax 970-827-9343. Comments may also be submitted online at: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=57224

Persons commenting should include: 1) name, address, telephone number, and the organization represented, if any; 2) title of project for which the comment is being submitted (Holy Cross Energy Avon-to-Gilman Electric Transmission Line); and 3) specific facts and supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider.

Additional information can be obtained from: Matt Klein, Realty Specialist for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, matthew.klein@usda.gov or 970-827-5182.


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